Sunday, November 14, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-Rhythm Heritage
Song:Theme From S.W.A.T.
Of course TV themes have always been ripe fodder for pop hits. Sometimes it's the original version. But this discofied version of the theme from the 70s TV show S.W.A.T. was recorded by studio musicians. There was never a group called Rhythm Heritage that you could see perform. But they recorded a few albums and Theme From S.W.A.T. topped the pop charts in 1976. The guys behind the group were ABC Records house producer Steve Barri and session keyboard player and producer Michael Omartian. You might not be familiar with Omartian but he's been around since the 70s and has had numerous #1 hits as a producer. He also has a career as a Contemporary Christian Music singer and his wife Stormie Omartian sings too. Rhythm Heritage would have been very early in his career when he was working for Barri at ABC Records. Barry DeVorzon wrote the theme from S.W.A.T. after he met producer Aaron Spelling at a restaurant and promised him a hit theme. DeVorzon had his own top ten hit in 1976 with Nadia's Theme from the TV soap The Young and the Restless. Disco was getting hot at the time and Barri cooked up the idea of doing disco versions of TV and movie themes. The album Disco-Fied was released in 1976. Theme From S.W.A.T. topped the Billboard Hot 100 in Feb. 1976 and the theme from Baretta was a top 20 hit. Among the musicians who played on the record were guitarists Dean Parks & Ray Parker Jr., percussionist Victor Feldman, sax player Ernie Watts and session singers Orin & Luther Waters. Rhythm Heritage recorded a total of four albums but only three were released. ABC Records was sold to MCA in 1978 and Omartian and Barri went to Warner Bros. That was the end for Rhythm Heritage. You can only get Theme From S.W.A.T. on various artists comps. This comp from Verve has jazz versions of TV and movie themes. It looks very interesting. Here's a clip from a 1976 episode of American Bandstand featuring Theme From S.W.A.T. by Rhythm Heritage.